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'Good things have to come to an end' Chevyland USA museum auctioning off all cars

Posted at 6:49 PM, Apr 23, 2021

ELM CREEK, Neb. (KMTV) — The large garage full of cars located off Interstate-80 brings back memories for many in Nebraska.

“Anytime we head west you always try to peek through the windows as you’re going down the interstate,” said Mat Cope, with BigIron Auctions.

For decades, Chevyland USA attracted folks from around the United States. But eventually interest dipped and the museum closed, two years ago.

“In the early days, the attendance was really good, but over time it got into the '90s, the attendance kind of dropped,” said Al Hollertz, the current owner of the cars.

A short time after it closed, the owner of the museum and all the vehicles, Monte Hollertz, passed away.

Now it's time for his son, Al Hollertz, to move on.

So every car and motorcycle that still remains from the museum, is up for sale by auction.

Al, says so far, they appear popular.

It’s certainly keeping BigIron Auctions busy.

“People from California, Arizona, really every state I think I’ve fielded a call from,” said Cope.

“We do sell classic cars quite often, but never on a scale like this.”

The cars range from the 1910s to the 1960s, with a blue Corvette and red Impala receiving particular interest.

“The old car market is very hot and there is a lot of collectors and there is a lot of builders who are looking for cars,” said Al Hollertz.

The cars from over 100 years ago also seem to especially stand out, mainly because you can barely find them anywhere now, let alone buy them.

“General motors built their cars around wood frames and for the most part over the years, wood would deteriorate, the car would fall in and that be the end of it, but the cars that were shredded and taken care of.

They’re just harder to get,” said Hollertz.

Every car in the lot has some story to tell, but that’s especially true for a 1965 Impala, used in a deadly Nebraska bank robbery.

Duane Pope murdered three people in Big Springs, Nebraska in 1965.

“He got caught and he’s in prison today,” said Hollertz.

The car stayed in good shape.

“The car was impounded and a gentleman from Grand Island ended up buying the car. It had 13,000 original miles on it. It was preserved and sat inside in a garage.”

Al Hollertz is reopening the museum to show off the cars one last time, next week. It's a chance for folks to see what they can buy, and to say a final goodbye.

“I do think it’ll be a bit of a walk down memory lane for folks that enjoyed this place so I know of several people locally who might stop by just to kind of pay their respects and take a look one last time,” said Ryan Harbur, with BigIron Auctions.

As for how much he’s going to get for all the cars, bikes and even an old fire truck, Al isn’t speculating.

“When it comes to an auction you never know,” said Hollertz.

“You get two people interested in something and it can go crazy.”

That open house will be between April 29 and May 6, the day the online auction ends. None of the vehicles being auctioned, have buyer fees.

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